Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Friday, May 27, 2011

All Star Race Comments, IndyCar, Toys, & Memorial Day

I think the fan comments pretty much speak for themselves regarding what was supposed to be the All Star Race:
Dave from Texas wrote this:
Two words:
Bore - Ring!!!!
What a snoozer!!
Edwards and Kyle run off and leave the rest. That's the best they could do? Recycle a Nationwide script?
And what was all the "Getting Even", "The Gloves Come Off" and "Payback Time" before the race? That was all they could blabber about? If this didn't look like the beginning of a wrestling match, then I don't know what would. Absolutely disgusting.
And what about the all the phony drama over, "Who Will The Fan Vote In Be"? Gosh, I don't know. *EVERYONE* knew it would be Jr as he had no other way to get in. How insulting is that? I can't believe how stoopid they think I am!!
And the Booth Bozos - it sounded like DW was drunk - but them screaming at me about how exciting it all was got really old, really fast. Especially when it *wasn't* exciting. Talk about much ado about nothing.
I wonder how many tickets they had to give away to get the grandstands as full as they could? Especially when, as the race went on, the crowd seemed to get smaller and smaller. DW saying, "They had great walk-up sales!" wasn't convincing to me. I wonder how many will show up next year? I'm sure you remember when it was *impossible* to get tickets to The Winston three months in advance, much less the night of the event.
The whole event was a waste of my time to watch. It was nothing but one long infomercial. (How did you like the driver introductions with the big TV set on the stage showing a Sprint cell phone ad every few seconds?)

Mary, Chip’s mom, had this to say:
What a snoozer the "All Star" race was. I didn't even make it to the end. 
Submariner Bill said this:
I enjoyed the National Anthem, thought the Military Brass Band played
it with dignity and enthusiasm. They certainly confused the shit out of
everybody prior to the elimination race, though, by doing God Save
America instead of the anthem, leaving everyone with hand over heart
and a "wtf" look on face as they listened to the guy honking like a sick

I rather enjoyed "The Duck" boy tearing up his car in the infield before
doing the back flip, and his interview (having Scotts come plant some
grass) was kind of fun.

In between I was able to get in some nice naps. If any race ever
demonstrated the aerodynamic bull$hit that NA$CAR has become, that
would be it

Wayne made this comment:
Yeah it was and had to listen to mounds of B/S from Waltrips and Speed. The NW Race was a lot better as home-town kid won it. 

Race Mama, who was at the track, said this:
It seemed more like a test session for the 600...I scanned around a lot and teams were trying all kinds of stuff 

Chris, who lives near the track wrote this:
I could have walked to the track (avoiding traffic) and gotten free tix--they were pushed for 3 weeks--but I'm still glad based on the Tweets I read that I didn't go.

The fireworks display, which I can see from my front door, wasn't even as good as UNCC displays when they host them--far below Humpy's standards.

I got groceries while everyone was off the roads then watched Indy quals.
Interesting in that all the empty seats that could be seen and that was even after tickets were given away. And Charlotte’s busy giving away tickets for the 600 too so the track won’t appear as empty. That tells me that it’s not the economy that’s the problem. Not when free tickets are available.
Overall fan consensus? Two thumbs down.
It seems that since Humpy got dumped that the overall quality of events at CMS have gone downhill. Some fans feel that maybe it’s time for a change of location since some teams are using the All Star Race as nothing more than a testing session for the 600 the following week. Some fans think that the location of the All Star Race needs to be at a different location every year to keep things more interesting instead of the same old stale event year after year. All worthy ideas but we know Bruton the Bald would have a major hissy fit if they tried moving the All Star Race.
Danican’t & the 2012 Season
One of the interesting things about the Queen of Hype going full time next season in NA$CAR is that you can be assured there will be lots and lots of hype throughout the entire season. The question is, where would she go? It’s pretty obvious she’d stay at the Hendrick satellite team of JR Motorsports in the Busch Series. But who would field a car for her Cup attempts? It would come from yet another Hendrick satellite team, Stewart-Hass. And just who would put her in a car for her attempt for the 2012 Indy 500? Considering Stewart and Hendrick’s connections with Chevy, you can bet one of the Chevy powered teams would be putting her in a car and considering Tony’s relationship with AJ Foyt, it would probably be for AJ. Providing he can tolerate her temper tantrums and inability to set up a race car.
Now here’s where her once a year Indy 500 plans fall apart. 2012 is when IndyCar introduces their new bodies, aero packages, and power plants. The Queen of Hype has no experience with the turbo powered engines. She will also not have any experience with the new bodies and aero packages which puts her at an immediate disadvantage. Plus as she still doesn’t know how to set up her current car, based on comments in the IndyCar garage from engineers and former teammates, she’d be dependent on having somebody else set it up for her. This would probably mean both the primary and back-up cars being scrap metal. So how to get her in after that? A similar deal to what is happening this year. She buys a seat, just like the Motormouth Brothers have had to do for some Cup races and is being done this year with AJ Foyt’s team. And come 2013, she’ll have missed out on any changes IndyCar makes to the cars and power plants. The less she drives IndyCar, the more futile the attempts will be and maybe even to the point of embarrassing her, IndyCar, and her sponsors. NA$CAR will try to milk it for all it’s worth no matter how she does. Lots of hype, hoopla, and the sad delivery of not living up to it, just like the All Star Race not living up to its’ hype and hoopla.
Chevy Engine on Schedule for IndyCar

According to Auto News Log, the development of the engine that Chevy will be fielding for IndyCar is coming along nicely and will be ready in time for the 2012 season. How are they able to do this? By using key elements of their production model engines. Technology from both the Camaro and Cruze engines are being incorporated into the IndyCar engine which makes it relevant to what the fans have under their hood unlike NA$CAR which still insist on using obsolete technology under the hood and generic race vehicles.
It’s Just a Toy

That’s what Shrubbery said when he was pulled over for doing 128 mph in a 45 mph zone in a residential area. A lot of fans are outraged over the fact that he was speeding, that he wasn’t arrested for “carelessly and heedlessly in willful and wanton disregard of the rights of others”. Fans need to remember that this incident took place in the county where most of the race teams are based. They also need to look back at previous incidents involving NA$CAR drivers like Motormouth Mikey leaving the scene of an accident when he totaled his SUV and hid in his pool house to avoid being tested for DUI and his more recent incident where he ran into a motorcycle and blew a .06 which is just under the .08 legal limit of intoxication. Or Michael Annett and him rear ending a couple of cars while texting. NA$CAR is pretty much leaving it to the courts to handle it but then I think about some previous incidents involving drivers who were DUI, which also endangers the public, and the drivers being placed on probation such as The Dinger.
Memorial Day Weekend

Jeremy Mayfield with a race fan at a frontline FOB.

As it’s Memorial Day Weekend, I thought I’d post a picture of the only NA$CAR driver I know of who ever went to a combat zone to visit the troops and went out of his way to go to a forward operating base (FOB) to visit the race fans who help to ensure our freedom every day.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Curtis Turner, IndyCar Stuff, Rolling Thunder Modifieds, History, and Other Stuff

Hall of Fame Contender: Curtis "Pops" Turner

Curtis Turner with mechanical wizard Smokey Yunick

Curtis Turner was born is a small town in Virginia called Floyd back in 1924. Curtis was known for a number of things. He made and lost more money than most of us will ever see in the timber industry. He was known for holding some wild parties. He was also known for his abilities behind the wheel of a stock car. He was also one of the Founding Fathers of NASCAR along with Raymond Parks, Red Byron, Red Vogt, and the Staley Brothers whom you rarely hear about. Curtis was one of the first drivers to use an airplane to get from one race to the next. Curtis tried to start a drivers union which got him and Tim Flock blackballed for life in 1961. Of course, Big Bill France didn’t know just how popular Curtis was with race fans until the other racing series that Curtis ran in while he was blackballed pulled in more fans than NASCAR was pulling in. Probably a good place to find out about Curtis Turner is to read the book “Full Throttle”. It covers the days from when Curtis hauled sugar to make moonshine and getting shot at to his popularity with Ford Motor Company and how he used that to get the Wood Brothers the backing of Ford to his untimely death. Characters like Curtis don’t come along very often and there definitely aren’t any like him in today’s squeaky clean, politically correct NA$CAR. Some of the “supporting” characters in Curtis’ racing career were the Clown Prince of Racing Joe Weatherly, Smokey Yunick, the Wood Brothers, Big Bill France, Bud Moore, and a who’s who of racing from the good old days of racing.
Probably one of the more interesting things (to me) that happened during Curtis’ career was after Big Bill France re-instated Curtis in 1965. Nobody wanted to take a chance on Curtis because of his age. But one team did step up and gave Curtis the break he needed to get back into racing. The same team he helped give a break to years before. The Wood Brothers. They never forgot what Curtis did for them by getting Ford to back them in their racing efforts so they fielded a car for him. And as sort of a jab at the owners who wouldn’t hire him, Curtis had his age as the car number, the #41. Unfortunately for us fans, Curtis retired from racing in 1968 and went back to the timber business. He lost his life in a plane crash which some have attributed to the fuel in his plane that he got before starting the next leg of his flight back to his home in Roanoke, VA. He was given the nickname of the “Babe Ruth of Stock Car Racing” by Sports Illustrated in 1968 and was the first NASCAR driver to appear on their cover. By the time he appeared on that cover, he had won over 350 races in NASCAR, ARCA, MARC, and USAC. Curtis was also the genius behind Charlotte Motor Speedway, which you’ll never get Bruton Smith to admit to nor the betrayal Bruton pulled on a vote as to whether or not to keep Curtis on the board of the speedway.
If you look at the “total package”, which is something I urge the voting members to do, Curtis rates right up there and is worthy on being inducted into the HOF.
A couple of side notes, Floyd, VA., where Curtis Turner was born, is also the home town of Tony Stewart’s crew chief Darian Grubb and USAR driver Jeff Agnew. Curtis’ daughter Margaret Sue, Pam Roberts (Fireball‘s daughter), and Sybil Scott (Wendell’s daughter) use to be the 3 Musketeers of the infield when they followed their dad’s careers around from track to track and maintained a life-long friendship.
Somebody’s Fibbed About The Split Screen Coverage
Back when BSPN first got their segment of the broadcast contract, fans were hoping that this would be the advent of the same split-screen coverage that Disney/ABC/BSPN had used for their coverage of the IRL. His Imperial Incontinence, Faux King Brian, dashed all the fans hopes when he stated that split screen coverage would not be allowed because it wouldn’t allow the sponsors to present their form of branding. Well, it seems we’re now catching Faux King Brian in yet another fib.
When asked about the split screen format, here’s a non-answer given by BSPN:
“Since we returned to NASCAR racing in 2007, one of the most common questions from our fans has been ‘why don’t you do the commercials side-by-side?’” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. “We’re very pleased to be able to do it now with NASCAR Non Stop and showcase the advertiser while still showcasing the race. ESPN’s mission is to serve sports fans and this is a way to give the fans more racing action during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”

Now here’s an answer from BSPN that’s actually an answer:
"Currently, we are not allowed to do side-by-side per our rights agreement with NASCAR," Rich Feinberg said before the Daytona 500. "But I know that in our partnership we have discussions with them about that and overall we understand the frustration."

So it’s not the sponsors or advertisers who prohibited the split screen coverage but NA$CAR itself which prohibited it. When will Faux King Brian ever learn that his fibs will eventually come back to bite him in the backside? Like the COT will make the racing more exciting, the COT will solve all of the aero problems, we want to bring back our long time fans, it’s Dale Jr’s fault NA$CAR isn’t doing better, and I know what’s best for the sport.
IMS to Drop NA$CAR?
Racer magazine is reporting the sales of tickets for this year’s Brickyard 400 are lagging behind last year’s low turnout of an estimated 140,000. Last year’s attendance was down nearly 50% from the 270,000 that attended in 2007. IMS officials are stating they believe the over-saturation of Cup, NNS, and truck races in the Midwest is a contributing reason, especially the addition of Kentucky just 170 miles away along with Chicago, Michigan, and Kansas.
Considering that the France family and ISC have abandoned IndyCar (IndyCar does not race at any ISC tracks), that maybe IMS is considering dropping NASCAR because it is becoming a money loser since the Goodyear tire fiasco.
One Manufacturer’s History Speaks Volumes
Toyota had partnered with Dan Gurney’s All American Racers and dominated the IMSA prototype ranks, virtually destroying that series (which was revived by Panoz and became the ALMS). Gurney and his AAR team built an Eagle powered by Toyota into the CART series. Toyota suddenly dropped Gurney and driver Robby Gordon in favor of providing engines for Newman-Haas and Ganassi. As in fighting continued within CART, Penske brokered a behind the scenes deal to take Honda and Toyota to the IRL, because of the Indy 500.
They were the engine to have when they went to IndyCar, as Penske and Ganassi were cleaning up. Honda partnered with Andretti-Green and when that team’s drivers began dominating, so Toyota joined Chevy in leaving the series.
In Formula 1, Toyota was spending more than Ferrari per year, something to the tune of $750m. They even were caught with design information from Ferrari, as one of their car designs looked very much like the previous year’s Ferrari dominating car. But in all their years in F1, they only mustered a couple of podium finishes. So they left and put their money into NASCAR.
Toyota, through their Lexus brand, provided support of Ganassi’s Grand Am team. After winning a couple of titles in the prototype division, in late 2009 Toyota announced they were leaving Grand Am. This forced Ganassi to scramble and he ended up putting together a deal with BMW.
Toyota’s track record is clear. If they ever win a title, both driver and manufacturer, in Cup or after a number of years with limited success, they will be gone. If they pull out, gone is the money NASCAR relies on, because I’m sure the next TV contract will not be anywhere close to the current one.
Alex Tagliani on Pole for Indy 500
In a feel good story for the upcoming Indy 500, Alex Taglaini put his car on the pole for former driver Sam Schmidt, who was paralyzed as the result of a crash during testing. Beating out the powerhouse teams like Ganassi and Penske is no small feat. Ganassi driver’s Franchitti and Dixon both managed to run out of fuel which put a serious dent in their qualifying efforts. Former NA$CAR driver John Andretti was the only one of the five Andretti Racing drivers to qualify. Simona De Silvestro, coming back from a fiery wreck earlier in the week, was able to qualify 24th. This leaves the Queen of Hype, Ana Beatriz, 2 Ganassi cars, a Penske car, and others to try to make it in on Bump Day qualifying.
2012 All Star Race Rumors
Rumors are already surfacing regarding next year’s All Star Race and the Queen of Hype’s silence over next year’s plans on driving in NA$CAR. I’m not sure where the rumor started but according to the rumor she’ll be running in the 2012 All Star Race. I don’t see how she can get in based on her current driving levels in the Busch series and the fact that she has yet to drive in a Cup race, much less win a race in any of NA$CAR’s Top 3 series, but considering past results of the fan vote have been rigged to get certain drivers with high dollar sponsors in, it wouldn’t be a real surprise if the Queen of Hype did get in.
Rolling Thunder Modifieds Rolling On
Last year’s Rolling Thunder Modified Touring Series winner Trevor Edwards continued his dominance of Newport Speedway having now won both races in the tour’s history at Newport Speedway. Trevor was also the pole-sitter for the double-points event. Eldon Zacek of Concord, NC finished 2nd. Chris Brown of Ft. Washington, KY assumes the Series points lead after two races this season while finishing 3rd. Jeff Woods of Vinton, VA was fourth and is now 2nd in points while Ed Ditges of Orlando, FL rounded out the Top 5.

Lauren Edgerton of Chesterfield, VA becomes the first woman racer in the 20-year history of the Rolling Thunder Modifieds and Lauren finished 6th. Vance Hall of Richfield, NC finished 7th and moves to third in the points.

The Rolling Thunder Modifieds are scheduled to return to Dillon Motor Speedway on July 9, 2011 for their 3rd race of the season.

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Stuff, Old Stuff, & Why The Network Bias

Thanks to a busy week and Blogger not working right, I wasn't able to get this posted in time but there's a few things that might be of interest to some folks.

Phoenix Reconfiguration to Cost SCCA Races
As a part of the reconfiguration of Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), the infield road course is being taken out to make room for more campers and motor homes. Obviously ISC hasn’t been paying attention to the empty grandstands and half-filled campgrounds at their other tracks. But they feel they don’t need the SCCA races. Why? Who knows what goes on in the empty melons of the Ivory Towers of Daytona Beach. Based on interviews done by Terry, our man in the stands out West, a number of fans won’t be going back to PIR because of the reconfiguration of the track. They liked it the way it was because it was a unique design and challenging to the drivers. So if ISC can’t take the hint by the empty stands at Bristol caused by the reconfiguration, what’s it going to take to get their attention about reconfiguring tracks? Totally empty grandstands?
Darlington Ratings Down
Hard to believe that one of the most exciting tracks on the schedule had its’ ratings drop. But then again, it is believable. According to the “standard start times” that were touted by NA$CAR, the night races were supposed to start at 7:00 PM. Darlington didn’t start til almost 45 minutes later. Not to mention the Ms Terry DeBris caution to bunch the field back up. No wonder folks tuned out and went to bed about 11:00 PM. Maybe if they started at the standard start time, they might have had some better ratings. So which excuse will be used this week? The economy? The price of gasoline? Or the NBA play-offs which were up 32% over last year? Take your pick.
North Wilkesboro Closed Again
After Save The Speedway put in 6 years helping to get North Wilkesboro re-opened, the track, under management of Speedway Associates Inc., has closed after 14 months of racing. SAI claims it’s due to the high front end cost of putting on the races there. I can’t say for sure since I haven’t seen the books. I know that a lot of money went into getting the scoring tower working again, walls being painted, and some of the suites being repaired. It’s a sad thing to see. It’s also strange that it happened after Save The Speedway decided to go look at some other tracks to save. Could it be that Save The Speedway was really the driving force behind getting the track re-opened and kept it going? Maybe, since several members were involved in providing support to the track and their operations. But this leads to the bigger question. Now that it’s closed again, what will Bruton do? Will he finally come down off of his $12 million asking price and sell it to somebody who will once again bring racing back to the track? Or will he let it return to rotting away like he did before? Hard to say. Only Bruton knows what Bruton will do.
AJ Foyt to Drive the Indy 500 Pace Car

It appears that animal rights activist got up in arms about The Donald driving the pace car citing something about a rare albino skunk that lives on his head and him endangering it’s life. IndyCar decided to go with the #2 best driver in 20th century racing history AJ Foyt instead. As AJ doesn’t have any endangered species living on his body, it’s a good choice and the animal activists seem satisfied with it.
James Hylton Sets Record

By starting in the Busch Series race at Darlington, 76 years young James Hylton established a record as being the oldest driver to start in NASCAR’s Top 3 Series. Of course, with BSPN’s coverage, you’d never know that James was on the track or about the record he set. However, this is not the absolute record for a NA$CAR event. 84 years young Herschel McGriff holds the all-time record by running in the K&N Pro Series West at Miller Motorsports Park on April 30, 2011. Maybe this will give the Silver Fox an incentive to return to Cup racing? Speaking of the Silver Fox…
Pearson Not Happy With Current Rules
In a recent interview with Dale Jarrett, David Pearson said that NA$CAR needs to get rid of all their rules. Pearson has been one of the few former champs to be critical of what’s happened to NA$CAR in recent years and he’s not too far from wrong. There need to be safety rules but as observed by a lot of folks, the teams are in a box when it comes to innovation or getting the cars dialed in. This is due to the generic car they’re racing and the multitude of mandated parts which have made the series a high-priced version of IROC.
Fined & Penalty Issued
Rather than cite the on track actions and threats issued over the radio, NA$CAR cited the post-race pit road incident between Mr Happy and Shrubbery as the reason for a 4 week probation and $25,000 fine. Big deal. I guess it’s going to take somebody being hospitalized or killed before a serious penalty is issued. Can’t upset the car maker that owns NA$CAR or the teams’ sponsors. That means using Iron Head’s formula for payback, it’ll happen at Kansas.

Here’s what the NA$CAR VP for Racing Operations said regarding the penalty:
Not punishing fans, we would have issued 100k and pts penalties in past, this was mild-issued because of pit road.
Uh huh. And what about the folks who were scrambling on pit road because of Mr Happy‘s rolling car caused by Shrubbery pushing it into the pit wall after it was parked? Mild-mannered? Pull-ease!

Rolling Thunder Modifieds Saving Teams Money
Unlike NA$CAR, who every time they’re saving teams money it ends up actually costing them money, the Rolling Thunder Modifieds have a money saving solution for their competitors. They’re letting teams use the F-35 Hoosiers they got from any source to be used providing they’re scanned into the system and are deemed safe for use. Now, when was the last time NA$CAR actually saved the teams money? Way to help out the small guys Rolling Thunder. Two thumbs up.
Focks Bias Towards One Carmaker
Back when it was announce that the carmaker with it’s international headquarters in Japan was joining NA$CAR, one of the things that was done to secure their place in NA$CAR was the automaker ponying up big bucks to not only NA$CAR but also the networks. This is from a 2007 NY Post article but it gives you an idea of the money being spent on just the commercials:
Toyota paid at least $2 million for the TV time - the equivalent of a Super Bowl ad buy - for "Chasing Sunday: The Race to Cup," according to industry sources. Fox is part of News Corp., which also owns The Post.

While the documentary is a behind-the-scenes look at the sport, Toyota wasn't allowed to use the Nascar name or logo in the title because of Ford's sponsorship.

The TV special comes on top of the ads Toyota bought during the race - advertisers pay as much as $500,000 for a 30-second spot - and throughout the season to promote the Tundra.
The auto maker has earmarked a reported $100 million dollars to tout the 2007 Tundra, which the company has called the "most important launch in Toyota's history in the U.S." That's on top of an estimated $200 million it will spend on its Nascar effort.
The Japanese automaker's journey deep into the heartland and a beloved American sport infuriated some fans. As foreign competition forces U.S. automakers to curb ad spending, the Japanese Toyota has money to burn.

The sponsor-friendly Nascar commissioned a study to gauge fan opinion and claims 93 percent were "favorable or neutral" about Toyota entering Nextel Cup racing. "For Nascar it's about the racing product," said spokesman Andrew Giangola. "Having another manufacturer in the sport helps raise the level of competition."

I think they must’ve sampled the wrong market because of the number of complaints I’ve received over the last 4 years since the entry of Toyota into NA$CAR. I’ve probably received 93% against and 7% for or neutral.

But getting back to why Focks is biased towards the Japanese carmakers. Just look at the amount of money being spent on their TV ads. Look at who they own in the announcing booth. Is it any real wonder why the Focks broadcasts are so biased towards JGR, MWR, and other Toyota teams throughout the 3 top NA$CAR series?
Read more:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Congrats SEAL Team 6, Raymond Parks Jr, Rolling Thunder Modifieds, & Other Things

Congratulations Seal Team 6
A job well done gentlemen on the elimination of terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden and one of his spawn. Hopefully Bin Laden is enjoying his new role as fish food in the Arabian Sea.
After the successful completion of their mission and the announcement to the world of their success, Bruton is donating 1,000 tickets to the Navy SEALs and their families for the upcoming Cup race on Memorial Day weekend.
Richmond Stuff
According to one vendor sales are off by about 25%. He seems to feel they’ll return back to normal when the economy recovers. 2 other vendors said their sales were 50-70% off of what they were in 2009. Either way, it doesn’t sound too good for the vendors at the track.
From what I could see on TV despite Speed‘s best efforts not to show the grandstands, it appears that only 1/3 of the track seating was open for the Busch Series race and that was only half filled. According to a Henrico County Sherriff, he estimated the crowd at about 25,000 for the Busch race. About the same size as last year.
On the Cup race, the blimp shots pretty much said it all as to the track being about half empty. Based on figures from the Henrico County Sherriff’s Office, there were maybe 70,000 people with cars parked in the parking areas. One entire parking lot went unused. It’s a far cry from the 90,000 fans that’s being claimed by some. Sorry Mike Joy, it was not a good-sized crowd. The track seats 112,029 and with only 70,000 people present, that means there were 42,029 people elsewhere.
No problems for the Speed Energy trailer at Richmond and the premiere show of Fast 5 seems to have went without a hitch. The lucky 200 fans who got to see it with Robby Gordon definitely got a thrill from what I heard. The Cup race was also surprising from an exposure point. Robby not only got mentioned but his car was shown, the premiere of the fast 5 movie was mentioned, and also Robby showing up in the motor coach lot driving a faux police car which was tied in with the Fast 5 promotion.
Manufacturer’s Meeting With NA$CAR
According the press release, it’s supposed to be an informal “town hall” meeting. Based on the past town hall meetings with the team owners and drivers, it’s been more one sided than a true meeting. It’s been “NA$CAR talks, you listen”. Hopefully the manufacturers will address the slower than molasses pace at which NA$CAR is moving when it comes to engine technology and incorporating the looks of the street counterparts that than what we see on the track. As it stands, the trucks are supposed to be going generic soon based on an earlier statement from the Truck Series director. That’s not what fans want to see on the track.
A Hall of Fame Must: Raymond Parks Jr.
Without Raymond Parks Jr, Bill France Sr would never have gotten NASCAR off the ground and never been able to keep it going. He was more important to the sport than Bill France Jr. as were the Staley brothers, Red Byron, and Red Vogt and the number of meetings they held at the Wilkes Hotel in North Wilkesboro in order to form NASCAR. Parks money and business savvy were a key part in the formation of the sanctioning body. Unfortunately for Parks, Bill France Sr and a sly lawyer beat both him and the other Founding Fathers of NASCAR out of their rightful place as owners of the sanctioning body. If you really want to find out more about Raymond Parks Jr, read the book “Driving With the Devil” by Neal Thompson. Thompson really lays out both the history of Parks Jr, early stock car racing, and the formation of NASCAR. Parks Jr wasn’t exactly a saint but was one of the colorful characters who got things off the ground and his contributions need to be recognized. And no, I don’t get anything for mentioning the book. It’s a great piece of racing history that fans should read to see how stock car racing started out.
Female Driver to Join Rolling Thunder Modified Series

On May 21, 2011, Lauren Edgerton, Owner and Driver of the #7 modified and Illusion Racing, is scheduled to make the haul from Chesterfield, Virginia to Newport, Tennessee to compete. Lauren is the 2009 East Carolina Speedway Rookie of the Year and UCAR Rookie of the Year, The 2010 Shenandoah Speedway Driver of the Year and the 2010 Shenandoah Speedway UCAR Champion. In Lauren’s four years from 2007 – 2010 she has compiled 18 Wins, 14 Poles, 51 Top 5’s and 73 Top 10’s in 100 starts.
Other Rolling Thunder News
The Rolling Thunder Modifieds will compete for the first time ever in four different states, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina, in the same year during 2011. RTM is a regional modified racing tour which competes on asphalt oval tracks in this region. The cars are IMCA-type Modifieds which use 8” Hoosier racing tires.
Key Motorsports Sponsor DrawTite
Folks know I’m one for helping out the little guys in NA$CAR. Key Motorsports got a sponsor, DrawTite, and needs fans to help them out by going to their sponsor’s web site just to visit. By generating web hits, it’ll show the sponsor that there is a place for them in NA$CAR and with Key Motorsports. And no, I don’t get anything from DrawTite or from Key Motorsports for doing this.